Winners of the 2017 Arts & Minds Competition Announced

The winners of NASUWT’s 14th annual Arts and Minds Competition, featuring artwork and creative writing promoting issues of race equality and diversity, have been announced.

Chosen by celebrity judge, TV star Gok Wan, the winners were selected from hundreds of entries submitted by primary, secondary and special schools from across the UK.

The overall winners of the prestigious awards, which are open to all pupils across the UK aged 4-18, each received prize vouchers and £1,000 for their school at an wards ceremony in London today.

The overall winners :

Primary School: Matthew Hill (Year 3), Mepal & Witcham Primary School, Cambridgeshire, for his poem “A Dream”

Secondary School: Class S3 (Year 10) Inverclyde Academy, for their piece of art “Diversity Rug”

Special School: Brendan Woods (Year 11), The Pheonix Trust Academy, Lincolnshire, for his poem “A Rap Init”

Anne Frank Poetry Award: Anai Ganatra, (Year 8) Henrietta Barnett School

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Congratulations to all this years’ winners, and shortlisted finalists, the quality of work they all produced was outstanding, and they should all be proud at not just the artistic talent they have displayed, but also how their pieces really inspire and make the audience stop and think about this very important issue.”

“Every entry was highly creative and clever in its interpretation of the messaging behind the competition, so the judges had great difficulty in choosing the winners.

“The quality of entries is of great credit to the skills and abilities of the pupils and their teachers and support staff.

“The NASUWT is proud to organise the Arts & Minds competition which is an effective and enjoyable way of promoting and celebrating cultural diversity.

Complete List of 2017 Arts & Minds Winners:

Primary School:

Winner: Matthew Hill, Mepal and Witcham Primary School

Finalists: Kayla Bannister, St William of Perth School, Rochester

                Year 5, Corrie Primary and Nursery School, Manchester

Secondary School:

Winner:  Class S3, Inverclyde Academy

Finalists: Nikita Bavisha, Henrietta Barnett School, London

                 Joanna Fang,Henrietta Barnett School, London

                 Mattea Tettey-Enyon, King Edward VI High School for Girls

                 Ercall Wood Technology College, Telford

                 Fivemiletown College/St Ciaran’s College, Northern Ireland

Special School:

Winner: Brendan Woods, The Pheonix Academy Trust, Grantham

Finalists:  Progress Unit, Conisborough College

                  Curtis Roberts, St Christopher’s High School, Wrexam

Anne Frank Poetry Award:

Winner: Anai Ganatra, Henrietta Barnett School, London


Commenting on the Government’s audit into racial disparity in public services, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT welcomes the publication of this audit as a step to confirming the well-documented problem of racial discrimination at work and in our public life.

“This is one of a litany of review reports published over the course of the last 40 years to highlight the problem of racism and discrimination in access to jobs and fair treatment in the provision of goods and services.

“The NASUWT has been highlighting for many years the racial discrimination which is blighting the lives and careers of BME teachers.

“The stark facts remain that BME teachers are under-represented in the teaching profession particularly at the most senior levels, they are paid less than their white counterparts, they experience widespread discrimination when applying for jobs or promotion and often have to endure racist comments and abuse at work.

“Increased freedoms for schools have also resulted in heightened concerns about widening racial disparities affecting BME pupils, with black Caribbean pupils being three times more likely to be excluded from schools compared to white pupils.

“Whilst one in three primary pupils are from a BME background, just one in twenty teachers are BME.

“The Government is right to challenge employers and institutions to address these disparities, but it must also take responsibility for having created a system which has failed to ensure that employers act responsibly and lawfully in tackling discrimination and advancing equality for all groups.

“The NASUWT has invited the Government to work with us to root out racism and discrimination, as part of our continued work to Act for Racial Justice.

“The Government needs to take the lead in ensuring that across all schools no teacher or pupil is held back or denied the opportunity to succeed because of their colour or ethnic, cultural or religious background.”